Is there a threat to unite us? 8 DFL governor candidates respond


“What is the greatest threat to Minnesota right now, that we can all unite around, and what will be your strategy to solve this problem?”

Eight DFL Candidates for Governor, answer that question on Sunday 11/15 2009.  Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher; State Senator Thomas Bakk; Former US Senator Mark Dayton; Former State Senator Steve Kelly, State Senator John Marty, State Representative Tom Rukavina, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, and State Representative Paul Thissen, have all come to the Eagle’s Club at 2507 E 25 th St in Minneapolis Minnesota to talk to the DFL Senior Caucus Inside.  One room had the Vikings game on, and there were 150 DFL’rs in the second room, so we briefly go outside to answer the same question. 

For the last several years, I’ve been looking at Game Theory, also known as Strategy Theory.  Note, humans have a tendency to come together when they share the same threat. If the sky was filled with UFO’s with purple death rays, we’d unite with Iran and North Korea till they were gone. 

I’ve noted recently, that some politicians actually say there’s a group that threatens them.  The first example I can think of here in Minnesota is US Representative Michele Bachmann, she states that a group the size of hers, “Liberals”, threatens the existence of her group.  It will be hard for her to get a majority of the votes, while she accuses half of threatening her, the half she names have no reason to vote for her.  I think some politicians master this idea, and I can think of Reagan, Clinton and Obama, who got the American people to unite around a threat or an idea. 

I was looking for this uniting, in any of their answers.  If a politician states : “we all share the same threat”, I think it will be easier for them to get a majority of the people.  This uniting strategy, is rather powerful in the long run, but we have many examples in the last few years we can think of either with politicians or with TV pundits that urge us to divide ourselves and say near half–threaten our existence. 

Bachmann’s strategy works, because she has a base she can appeal to in her district, but she would have trouble getting elected state or nation wide.  Those that appeal to all with : “We all should unite, because we all have the same threat”–have a stronger strategy.  They can get more votes, and they can get more done once elected.    These answers are presented in alphabetical order.

All answers, identify threats, but several really call out uniting around the problem.  They point to the current strategy as wrong, and they look to unite to solve this problem.  Bakk, Kelly, and Marty really go after our incorrect current divisive strategy in their answer.  They strongly want to unite, this could be key in getting elected state wide, and in then solving our problems together once elected.

Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher : Thinks current leadership lacks vision, and she wants to focus on education, and the economic development plan.

State Senator Thomas Bakk :  The Budget, is not the biggest problem, it’s our entire economy.  Then, he suggests uniting different groups to work together, he wants to be a “uniter”.  He certainly addresses the strategy of uniting around a common problem.

Former US Senator Mark Dayton :   4 issues :  Jobs, Education, Fair Share Taxes, and Single Payer Health Care.

Former State Senator Steve Kelly :  “We currently feel we can’t get things done–working together”, he thinks our strategy is the problem and repeatedly he states he will try to bring people together. 

State Senator John Marty :  “We have to bring our state together”.  He talks about uniting and strategy specifically, and he uses as an example health care where we should unite and solve the problem together. 

State Representative Tom Rukavina :  For him, it’s the un-allotment and the unconstitutional actions which he thinks are more for the benefit of Governor Tim Pawlenty, than for Minnesota.

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak :   We have to create jobs, train workers, develop and build, with the proper leadership.

State Representative Paul Thissen :  “Our greatest threats could be our greatest opportunity…”, problems he wishes to turn around.  He sees big changes with the  :1) Age Wave 2) Environmental Changes  3) World Economy,   Thissen describes complex problems, with complex positive pay-offs if solved.

All identify Minnesota problems, and offer solutions.  But Bakk, Kelly and Marty stress uniting to solve them.